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Regime Change

3:00 PM, Aug 30, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Mugged by Middle East reality, President Obama and Secretary Kerry seem finally to have awakened to the necessity to act—unilaterally and un-apologetically. That's heartening. Still, do they understand that the American action has to be decisive? After all, as the late Mike Scully put it, liberals sometimes get mugged by reality—but then fail to press charges. Will Obama press charges? And pressing the appropriate charges in this case means removing Assad.

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So whatever the president and the secretary of state may now say about the mission in Syria being “limited” and “narrow,” one trusts they know the mission will only be a success if Assad goes. Regime change is not only Assad's just reward. It's also the best hope for a modicum of stability in and near Syria. And it's the only message other WMD-loving dictators will understand.

So Obama doesn't have to talk about regime change right now. He just has to do it.

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